Tunis hosts 2nd Joint Conference of Arab Ministers of Tourism and Culture
16/10/2019 18:36, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - The promotion of cultural tourism and the exploitation of historical and archaeological heritage in the Arab world are at the centre of the 2nd Joint Conference of Arab Ministers of Tourism and Culture, opended Wednesday, in Tunis.

The two-day conference is under the high patronage of Interim President Mohamed Ennaceur.

Among Tunisia's guests were Kamal Hassan Ali, Deputy Secretary-General, Head of Economic Affairs at the Arab League, Mohamed Ould Omar, Director General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (AlESCO) and Salim bin Mohammed Al-Malik, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mohamed Zine Elabidine, advocated the adoption of an Arab strategy that aims at a certain autonomy of the heritage sector through the creation of ministries that will take charge of heritage in the various countries of the region.

Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts, René Trabelsi, was represented by Nabil Bezouich, Director General of the Tunisian National Tourism Office (ONTT), who read out the text of his speech.

René Trabelsi affirmed his department's commitment to the strategic choices adopted by all the countries of the Arab region. "This vision reflects the concern to further promote tourism as well as culture in these countries through mechanisms of common partnership between these two sectors," he explained.

He recalled the cooperation and partnership agreement already signed between the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts and its counterpart in Cultural Affairs aimed at boosting cultural tourism and the diversification of the tourist offer.

René Trabelsi called for further strengthening the joint partnership between the Ministries of Tourism and Culture of the Arab countries through events, such as the organisation of tourism and cultural festivals that take place at archaeological and historical sites in order to enhance their value and make them better known.

This second Joint Conference is mainly intended for the examination of the reports of the commissions in charge of implementing the decisions of the first Conference held in December 2018 in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

The roadmap provides for the monitoring of the progress of work on the initiative on complementarity between tourism and civilizational and cultural heritage in the Arab region.

This second meeting will also be an opportunity to study the initiative of the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, relating to the digitisation of heritage with a view to its integration into economic development through cultural tourism.

The Tunisian initiative relates in particular to the preservation of the tangible heritage, historical and archaeological monuments, and the promotion of museum tourism in the Arab countries.

Finding the necessary means of financing are at the heart of the national initiative for the optimal exploitation of this heritage in the tourist and cultural circuit.

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